Explorations in Performativity(2)

Term: Fall 2008

Subject Code: GANT

Course Number: 6760

Despite the demise of the linguistic turn, performativity remains a key issue in the social sciences and humanities.  This course will look at the issue of performativity from philosophical, linguistic, and anthropological perspectives and explore its implications for contemporary social issues. The course runs over two semesters.  The first semester will look at the key works  about performativity.  These will include John Austin's How to Do Things with Words, Derrida's Limited Inc., Shoshana Felman's The Literary Speech Act, and selections from the writings of Emile Benveniste, Donald Davidson, and Pierre Bourdieu.  The second part of the course will look at applications of performativity to contemporary issues such as gender and performance (Judith Butler), social imaginaries (Charles Taylor), revolutionary foundations (Hannah Arendt), and capital (Marx). One of the key issues we will look at are the relations between performativity, ritual, risk, and embodiment.

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